Mars by Way of Storytellers and Patrons

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C. Polk (2009), JBIS, 62, 187-197

Refcode: 2009.62.187
Keywords: Mars outpost, patron society, media-based business model

A business model is presented in which space-themed entertainment and educational media are harnessed to the goal of designing and financing the establishment of a self-sustaining Mars outpost. The model draws from two precedents: (i) The National Geographic Society's use of media sales to fund research and (ii) the historical role of patrons in the process of creativity. These precedents are combined in an international non-governmental organization (INGO) that is governed by the individuals who participate in the media businesses branded by the INGO - these individuals constitute a patron base of several tens of millions. Requiring only modest penetration into global media markets, expenditures of USD 5 billion per year (in 2008 dollars) can commence in 2025 and continue at an accelerating rate until the Mars outpost is established. The financing approach utilized, combined with a decision authority that is free to consider a broad range of solutions, will advance the technical state-of-the-art and result in an Earth-Mars infrastructure capable of expanding the initial Mars outpost into humanity's first second home.

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